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RifftideThe Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones$
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Papa Jo Jones

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816673001

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816673001.001.0001

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Can’t Nobody Tell Me One Inch about Show Business

Can’t Nobody Tell Me One Inch about Show Business

(p.31) Can’t Nobody Tell Me One Inch about Show Business

Papa Jo Jones

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explains what Jo Jones colloquially refers to as “show business” and especially black show business—the raison d’être of his wildly colorful musical, theatrical, and entertainment career. Jo Jones says it all with a verve like no other, skillfully interweaving the varied vignettes of his life into an unruly tale of travel, music, and entertainment. That last part’s important—Jones claims that he’s never been a “sad musician,” despite the misfortunes that had plagued his life during the early years before and after World War II. He’d even flown to Puerto Rico and France and straight into television and past the language barrier. There is nothing that can compare to his experiences; but, Jones maintains, arguing about who’s the best in show business isn’t the point, because nobody can tell him about show business.

Keywords:   Jo Jones, show business, black show business, World War II, television, language, entertainment

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